Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

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Survey: How can we improve your experience with our Careers Service?

As we gear towards a new academic year, the Careers and Employability Team is looking for your feedback on your experience with the Careers and Employability Service events this year; the good, the bad and the ugly!

This will help know what matters most to you and how best we can engage to ensure you get access to the events that you need.

Complete the short survey now.

Person holding book up to face in frustration

Exam results not what you hoped for? See options and support

If you did not do as well as you hoped, please don’t panic, there is support and processes in place to help you through this.  

Your options include: 

  • Appealing your results – this is when you appeal your result because you disagree with the outcome of the Exam Board. It is strongly advised that you speak to your Division to start with (within 5 working days of the release of your result) to try to come to an early informal resolution. This can be helpful because you will get a speedy outcome and may not need to enter the formal appeals process, which will take longer. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the early informal resolution, you can submit a formal appeal. Formal appeals must be submitted within 15 working days following the release of your results (there is some flexibility to this deadline if you are waiting for a response to an early informal resolution request).
  • Resitting means you will either retake an exam or resit a piece(s) of coursework in August. Fees for resitting have been waived for 2022.You can find out more on the Exams FAQs webpage.  
  • Repeating means that you need to attend all lectures and seminars and follow the full assessment requirements. You will also need to pay tuition fees. Tuition fee costs are calculated on the number of credits you repeat – please contact the Income Office for more details. 


We understand getting your results can be stressful, especially if they were not what you were expecting or had hoped for. If you are feeling distressed or upset, there are trained professional staff at Student Support and Wellbeing who can help and support you. We can offer text, online and in person appointments to help you deal with and process this difficult experience, as well as out of hours emergency support. 

For information on what your academic options are, you can contact you tutor or Student Support Office in your Division 

Kent Union can also provide independent advice and support with processes such as mitigation and appeals. Use this online form to contact the advice centre to let them know what you need. 

Find out more  

Full information, including FAQs and contact details, can be found on the Student Guide. 

It is also a good idea to speak to your Division as early as possible to talk through your options.   

Work space with coffee and croissant

Careers support over the Summer break

Our Careers and Employment Service are still around to support you over the Summer:

Book an appointment with a Careers Adviser

You can access help through online or face-to-face appointments using our booking system, where you will find 15-minute Quick Advice appointments, 45-minute Careers Guidance appointments, or even practice interview slots for when you have a job interview lined up.

If you aren’t sure what you want to do after Kent, a Careers Guidance appointment will help you in making decisions and future plans. If you just have a quick question, or would like a CV or application reviewed, a Quick Advice appointment is best.

Online events and workshops

Throughout the summer, the Careers Team are continuing to run online events and workshops. There’s a wide range of events from advice on using LinkedIn, how to make the most of your vacation, how to network and career management.

Online resources

There’s also have a practice interview system that will help you improve your video interview performance.

If you find yourself being invited for an assessment centre, you might want to check out the practice tests which give feedback on how you are performing. If you’re looking to gain some experience, but want to work remotely, check out the guide to developing skills at home.

Have a great summer!

Field of buttercups on campus

Boost your wellbeing this Summer

Some ideas for boosting your mental health and making the most of this time, wherever you find yourself this summer.

  1. Connect with others – reach out to friends and family. Plan when you can next meet up, so you have something to look forward to.  If you’re staying on campus, check out the the Student Support and Wellbeing events calendar for ways to meet new people such as the Walking Buddy and Just Coffee initiatives. Kent Union’s Postgrad Summer programme offers lots of social events and upskilling opportunities, both online and on campus.
  2. Get out in nature – spending time in nature can have huge benefits for our mental health. If you’re at Medway, the Rochester Lawn has benches, a covered area and a trail gym for you to explore. Based at Canterbury? Check out the new Canterbury Wellbeing Map and discover more places to relax and unwind. We’re super lucky to have the Kent Community Oasis Garden at our Canterbury campus (located at the end of Park Wood).Join students, staff and members of the community for relaxed gardening sessions throughout the summer – check out the calendar or follow the KentCOG on Instagram for more details.
  3. Caring responsibilities – Are you a student or staff member trying to juggle childcare over the vacation? Check out Kent Sport’s children’s holiday camps with discounts for Kent staff and students. Everyone with a Kent email address can also access Togetherall, a free online mental health platform where you can join discussions and get support on being a caregiver, whether for elderly relatives, children or disabled people.
  4. Exercise regularly – exercise is a great way to let go of frustrations and improve your mood as well as increase your fitness. Check out Kent Sport’s campus routes, to guide you through campus, or you might consider using the gym over the summer break, going to fitness classes, booking in for a fitness appointments or using the Kent Sports Clinic – all available at Kent Sport throughout vacation.
  5. Get enough sleep – sleep is vital to allow both your body and mind to recharge. If you struggle with your sleep, check out this free online Togetherall course: How to Improve Your Sleep.
  6. Relaxing reading –Whether you are able to get away this summer or enjoying a staycation, staff at the Drill Hall and Templeman libraries have shared some books they have enjoyed recently. You can check out the recommendations virtually on our summer reads reading list online and via the physical displays at both the Templeman and Drill Hall libraries from 5 July 2022.
  7. Eat well and stay hydrated – we all know that eating well and drinking plenty of water is good for us, but we often forget just much it can affect our mood. Check out the Blurt foundation’s blogpost about foods that boost mood and energy.

Student Support and Wellbeing continues to operate throughout vacation

Remember that all of our disability, autism, specific learning difficulties and mental health support teams are working throughout the summer, so you can still contact us to book appointments. Follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram for tips and advice on staying well and connected all summer.

The Mental Health Team consists of Mental Health Advisers, Counsellors and Student Mentors. Mental Health Advisers are specialist practitioners who can offer mental health advice and support. They can provide short term focused interventions to promote wellbeing and support students to develop coping strategies and help put in place an ILP or ‘inclusive learning plan’ if required. We also have a free confidential Counselling service for all Kent students, offering a safe space to those experiencing problems such as anxiety, depressed feelings, and emotional difficulties that may or may not be connected to student life.

Written by Miriam Sandiford and Natalia Crisanti, staff, on 05.05.22; amended 01.07.22

Check out further articles on Support and Wellbeing. 

Margate festival

Postgraduate Innovation Challenge Day: Sustainability and the Margate Soul Festival

All postgraduate students are warmly invited to take part in an Innovation Challenge Day, held in partnership with Olby’s Creative Hub Margate, organisers of the annual Margate Soul Festival.

Thursday 7 July 20229.15 17.00.
Cornwallis East Seminar Room 5 (CESR5)

The challenge

All over the world, festivals, both large and small, are growing conscious of their ecological footprint. So far, over 40 U.K. festivals have pledged to form a more sustainable future by halving their emissions and obtaining 50% recycling rates by 2025.

The Margate Soul Festival aims to join this group, by reducing the environmental impact of its annual weekend event which attracts over 20,000 music fans per day over three days in a regenerated Margate town centre.

Working in small, interdisciplinary teams, we challenge you to come up with creative and practical solutions to helping the Margate Soul Festival on its pathway to sustainability.

  • Increase your problem-solving and team-working skills
  • Help a local business to solve a real-world challenge
  • Add the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner badge to your CV
  • Gain 15 Employability Points
  • Network over a free lunch and refreshments

The day has been organised by Research and Innovation Services, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Department at the University of Kent

Register online at PG Innovation Challenge Day: Making Margate Soul Festival more Sustainable Tickets, Thursday 7 Jul 2022 at 09.15 | Eventbrite

Consent. Get it. Full stop. with progress bar

Kent’s commitment against sexual violence: progress in the last year

A review of our campaigns, actions and pledges to foster a culture of consent and respect that’s University wide and palpable for students, staff and visitors.  

As the conversation on sexual violence gets louder in society, we at the University of Kent have been working hard so that our university campuses stay positive and safe places. Our ongoing commitment to keep the members of our community safe became more visible this past academic year as we launched our new ‘Consent. Get it. Full Stop.‘ campaign to cultivate and strengthen our awareness and understanding of consent and to continue working to prevent harassment and sexual misconduct from taking place within our community. We have also worked on promoting the specialist support we have available in recognition of the difficulties faced by victim-survivors, and made changes to our policies, procedures and guidance documents to address concerns that were voiced to us by students and staff.

Five concepts were at the heart of this year’s work in tackling sexual misconduct and keeping our campuses safe: Transparency, Preventing, Reporting, Responding and Supporting. As the academic year comes to an end, we want to make good on the first of these – transparency – by highlighting some of our top achievements in each of these areas.

Prevention – Everyone at the university matters when it comes to tackling unacceptable behaviours.

  • We launched a university-wide campaign entitled ‘Consent. Get it. Full stop.’ which has a strong presence on social media and our webpages, with clear and thought-provoking messages about consent and healthy relationships. As part of this campaign we ran a number of initiatives including the ‘Celebrating Consent Day’ event, where we took the opportunity to promote policies, procedures, and support available.
  • This year we have seen senior leaders make a clearer and more visible commitment to tackle sexual misconduct. In November, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Reece called for community-wide reflection and discussion in the form of an all-student email released on International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls.
  • A focus group entitled ‘Safety on Campus’ has been created. This groups exists as a collaboration between staff and students including representatives from Respect the No, Women’s Network, BAME Network, Disability Network, LGBTQIA+ Network, and UN Women UK Kent Society, to name a few, as well as individual students. In this forum, students can openly discuss concerns about safety on and off campus, providing a clear line of communication between students and the University. We have discussed all initiatives and campaigns relating to sexual misconduct within this forum, giving students the opportunity to provide feedback and shape our work in this area.

Responding – We want everyone to know what to do and where to go.

  • We have created and circulated new guidance documents (in accessible formats) to students and staff on what to do if they: 1. have experienced sexual misconduct, 2. are accused of an incident and 3. if, as a member of staff, an incident is disclosed to them. A staff facing page where staff can find more information about how to respond to disclosures, how to take part in the campaign and the training available to them as all so been created and can be found on Staff Guide.
  • The University has recruited a student intern as a Campaign and Project Assistant which provided a stronger link to our student body, ensuring that student voice and collaboration with students are kept at the forefront of all our work in this area. This role has brought helped bridge gaps between staff working in this area and the student body and will be in place for the next academic year as well to keep this collaboration going.
  • Sexual misconduct became a permanent feature on the agenda of our Education and Student Experience Board to ensure that continued progress is regularly reviewed.
  • We have arranged for multiple opportunities for staff training:
    • The Specialist Wellbeing Manager provided specific training to Sexual Assault Responders – a cohort of substantive staff that are trained to respond out of hours to students disclosing sexual violence.
    • A new e-learning module entitled ‘Responding to Student Disclosures of Sexual Misconduct’ is now available for all staff to complete.
    • Front line staff have been provided with the opportunity to attend specialist training from Protection Against Stalking (PAS).
    • All Student Conduct and Complaints Officers have been provided with training from Lime Culture in conducting trauma informed investigations.

Reporting – We want our students’ voices to be heard.

  • We have introduced a new reporting tool, Report and Support. This platform allows for support articles to be made available to students with information on University of Kent procedures and how to access support internally and externally. The data gathered will enable us to identifying potential trends and/or areas of concern, to enable a tailored response. Report and Support will also enable us to increase our commitment to transparency as we plan to publish anonymised data gathered over the year.
  • A new Student Conduct and Complaints (SCCO) webpage has been created. This page provides information and guidance on how to submit a formal report to the University, and regulation documents for students to look at.
  • Our non-academic disciplinary regulations have been updated to include a specific appendix focused upon disclosures and investigation of Sexual Misconduct.

Supporting – We are here to support you. We want you to know the support we offer and how you can access it.

  • We have continued to promote the support available to students from within the university. This includes support from the Specialist Wellbeing Manager and Sexual Assault Responders (SARs) who provide round the clock practical and emotional support to student disclosing sexual misconduct.
  • We have done substantial work to increase transparency in relation to our processes. This includes the creation of a number of accessible visual guides relating to seeking support and reporting processes.
  • Throughout the year we have placed strong emphasis on the promotion of the support available to students. We have done this through our consent campaignsocial media, posters around campus, podcast episodes, and blog articles.
  • With the introduction of Report and Support we ensure that students are able to access support in a timely manner. Students who choose to report anonymously still receive signposting information to enable them to access external support, should they prefer.

After such an eventful year, we at Kent can proudly say that as a community we have made substantial progress in a short time, surpassing in many aspects the Office for Students (OfS) statement of expectations. Still, we recognise that there is a long way to go and make meaningful, positive and long-lasting change in our community; as a University, we are committed on continuing this work with the help of both staff and students, to aim for a safe, respectful and supportive place for us to study, work and socialise.

Stay up-to-date as Kent walks the walk on this issue by following #ConsentGetIt on social media, and check out other articles on Consent.

Written by Student Services, 20.06.22

If you’d like to comment on or contribute to a podcast or article for Student Services, email us at

Planning on starting unpaid work, a training course of networking experience. You could be entitled to at least £150 towards the cost of travel, training fees and work attire.

Apply for funding to support unpaid work, training or a networking event

Are you planning to undertake some unpaid work experience this summer? Or, are you looking to complete a training course or attend a networking event? You could be entitled to funding to support the costs of your experience!  

The Careers and Employability Service are able to provide funding to current students of at least £150, towards the cost of travel, training fees and work attire for opportunities that will support your employability.  

This is open to current students, who’ll be returning to their studies for at least one term, after the opportunity has taken place. You can claim the funding against costs incurred in the first 3 weeks (or 120 hours) of your opportunity, which will be reimbursed after the experience has taken place. 

Many students have already taken advantage of this; helping them to take part in valuable experiences, to develop their employability. Here are just a couple of the experiences students have undertaken with the help of the funding: 

“The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary has allowed me to advance my experience, technical knowledge and professional skill-set, in the Heritage and Estate Management sectors. I benefitted from the Work Experience Bursary during a two-week period of professional-level work experience at Chiddingstone Castle in West Kent. My time at Chiddingstone Castle has significantly improved my professional skill-set and I believe will enhance my opportunities for employment in the future.”

“Thanks to the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary, I was able to afford travel to and from my unpaid extended work experience placement, along with appropriate work attire. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with established artists from varying backgrounds, see first-hand how seasoned curators organise an exhibition, while learning crucial knowledge about sales, the relationship between a gallery and its artists, how to interact with potential clients, how artwork is displayed within the gallery and on social media.”

“The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary has enabled me to continue on a two-month legal internship at Whitestone Chambers in London, a highly specialised commercial set of Chambers. Attending hearings made me realise that commercial litigation goes far beyond my assumption of big businesses bringing cases against each other, but in fact it is far more personal, and is now an area of the law I will consider for my own career more seriously than prior to my internship.”

To apply, you just need to complete a simple online application form. Requests for reimbursement need to be received by mid-July 2022.   

Access the form and read the full terms and conditions see the Work Opportunities Fund webpage.

We look forward to receiving your application! 

Hearstopper characters Nick and Charlie

A love letter to Heartstopper

By Dr Lindsey Cameron, Kirsty Gravestock [PhD student], Hannah Bassom and Abigail Lugg [undergraduate students], School of Psychology.

We can’t stop thinking about Heartstopper.  

Heartstopper has opened a ground-breaking new chapter in LGBTQ+ representation. This beautiful, unapologetic, boy meets boy love story follows two 15- and 16-year-old boys as they become friends, fall in love, and discover who they are. The boys are surrounded by their close circle of friends, each on their own journeys to understand their LGBTQ+ identity. But Heartstopper is much more than a love story – Dr Lindsey Cameron and Kirsty Gravestock research diversity in young people’s media, and can tell you that this new Netflix series, and the books it is based on, is nothing short of radical and just what the world needs right now.  

The characters refer to homophobic and transphobic bullying they have experienced in the past, and there are several instances of homophobic victimisation depicted in the series, but the show focuses more on the positive relationships and lives the characters are building for themselves. This fictional, and somewhat rose-tinted view of life for LGBTQ+ young people may bring about complicated feelings for some in the LGBTQ+ community, but Heartstopper provides a joy and hope-filled view of what life could be like for LGBTQ+ young people today.  

Heartstopper is a breath of fresh air – a book and TV series specifically created for young viewers. When myself and my girlfriend were growing up, we were surrounded by dominant heterosexual norms, but perhaps greater exposure and diversity in relation to LGBTQ+ media would have helped me work out my sexuality a lot earlier.” – Abigail Lugg 

So here is why you should stop what you’re doing and watch (and read) it now – not just because it’s wonderful, but because decades of psychological research help show why it’s essential viewing for everyone. 

1.Representation matters – Heartstopper’s positive role models smash gay stereotypes and provide a much-needed shot of LGBTQ+ diversity, and we need more diversity in young people’s media. We need our young people, including LGBTQ+ young people, to see themselves reflected back in books, TV and film, to feel validated, valued, seen, and accepted. Mainstream shows featuring positive, life-affirming LGBTQ+ story lines send an important message: representation matters, equality matters, LGBTQ+ people matter.  

2.We need positive LGBTQ+ storylines for a younger audience –Whilst the show depicts 15- and 16-year-old characters, the storyline, characters and key messages will appeal to both younger and older audiences alike. It’s a show that younger adolescents, as well as older teenagers and their parents can watch together without too much cringe. And that is important: from a young age, parents are a crucial source of information for children as they learn about their social world. By watching Heartstopper with their children, parents will have an opportunity to talk about the LGBTQ+ community and identity (whether their child is part of the community or not), and maybe even inspiring their child to open up about their experiences. 

3.Challenging prejudice and stereotypes – Victimisation based on sexual orientation emerges mainly during early adolescence, when homophobic name-calling is common. Decades of research on diversity in books, films and TV tells us that that the simple but immersive act of reading and watching characters that are different to us in some way, and who we connect with, can reduce prejudice and stereotyping, build support for equality, and increase openness to diverse friendships. 

Researchers from Psychology holding Heartstopper books smiling

4.Being a good ally – Heartstopper models constructive ally behaviours by providing examples of how parents, peers and teachers can support and create comfortable environments for LGBTQ+ young people, as well as demonstrating potential ways of standing up for and supporting victims of LGBTQ+ bullying. Research tells us that viewing, and forming attachments to LGBTQ+ characters, as well as observing or engaging in cross-group friendships with LGBTQ+ peers, fosters empathy and constructive ally behaviours, helpful bystander reactions to homophobic bullying, and support for social change and equality. 

“As a Gen-Z-TikTok-addicted-bisexual, it was shocking to see how accurately the plight of discovering one’s own sexuality was portrayed.  From Nick’s confusion over suddenly liking a boy, to panic-searching BuzzFeed quizzes to determine his sexuality for him, to more serious topics such as homophobic bullying, Heartstopper truly shows people what it’s like to not be straight. Heartstopper works by showing us it’s okay to love who you love and be who you want to be unapologetically.” – Hannah Bassom

Heartstopper gives us a view of what life could and should be like for young LGBTQ+ people. And this is why Heartstopper is so important, and so radical: we need more unapologetic, joyful, positive stories like this for young people, filled with optimism, love and Pride.  

To see all the research references and find out more about the blogpost authors’ areas of study, please view the full blogpost on the Psychology website. 

"Mother" in neon lights.

Birth Rites Collection exhibition at Kent

What is the Birth Rites Collection?

Birth Rites Collection (BRC) is the first and only collection of contemporary artwork dedicated to the subject of childbirth, and is being hosted at the University. It is the first time it is being hosted and exhibited in such an environment, which was chosen to reflect the fact that birth, commonly perceived as a medical affair, is also a social and cultural event.

The collection was established by artist and curator Helen Knowles following a touring exhibition at the Glasgow Science Centre and Manchester Museum in 2008 and has since expanded to over 90 artworks, which include tapestries from the Birth Project (1981-83) by internationally renowned artist Judy Chicago, amongst many others. All artworks are acquired through artist donation or commission and includes multiple art forms, including photography, performance, sculpture, painting, print, wallpaper, drawing, new media and film.

Where to find the exhibition on campus

Thanks to the generous support of the University’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries, Division of Arts and Humanities, and Professor Darren Griffin from its School of Biosciences, artworks will be on display at a number of locations across the University campus. These include The Wigoder Building, part of Kent Law School, The Templeman Library, Grimond Building and Gulbenkian Arts Centre.

Professor Catherine Richardson, Director of the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries, said: ‘The University of Kent is delighted to be hosting The Birth Rites Collection. This fascinating collection of art has the potential to spark debate, learning and awareness around issues as diverse as blockchain and reproductive technologies, the politics and practice of childbirth, and the relationship between art, health and social care.’

BRC has an established record of working within an academic context, having previously been housed at the University of Salford and King’s College, London, where the collection was used as a creative research tool to support interdisciplinary teaching practices.

Helen Knowles said‘We are excited to be moving the Birth Rites Collection to the University of Kent and embarking on a new partnership with an innovative and creative institution. It is important that the artworld moves outside of London and connects with wider communities across the UK. This opportunity to be based in the southeast of England is very prescient, in light of maternal health inequalities and the unequal access to contemporary art regionally. We hope to contribute to a wider debate on the subject of birth and engage with the people of Canterbury, Kent and beyond.’

Birth Rites Collection Summer School

As part of the collaboration with Birth Rites, Kent will also host a Birth Rites Collection Summer School this September. The unique programme of lectures, workshops, seminars and one-to-one tutorials will introduce participants to the collection and facilitate a dialogue between them, their practice and the artworks.

Led by Helen Knowles and Hermione Wiltshire, artist and Co-Head of the Photography Programme at the Royal College of Art, the course will appeal to a range of individuals – from midwifes and health professionals to artists and policy advisors. Bursaries this year are offered to staff and students at the University of Kent and KMMS only. See more information about the summer school.